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  1. #1
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    Am I searching for a Unicorn? (cross-posted)

    Ok MTBRers,

    I know I'm not alone in this, but I'm looking for some feedback. I live and ride in southern Arizona and never ride park or DH. Most of our trails are a mix of XC/Trail with the occasional rock garden thrown in. An average ride will net approximately 100 feet of climbing per mile.

    I'm not close enough to any major city to do a bunch of demos, but have ridden a small variety of bikes (Trance 27.5, Trek Fuel EX, Specialized Stumpy 27.5, Trance X 29er, Anthem, etc). I currently own an Evil Following V1, which I love for its playful nature and its decent climbing prowess, but it tends to get bogged down through sustained rock gardens at speed. I recently sold a Canyon Spectral, which was fantastic for sustained rock gardens at speed, but not quite as playful as the Following. It was also a decent climber. So here's the question:

    Is there a bike out there that is playful and "jumpy" (like my Following), but is also composed and smooth through sustained rock gardens at speed (like the Spectral)? Most of the bikes I have ridden seem to be one or the other, but not both.

  2. #2
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    If you only have that one nitpick of your Following, why not spend the time learning about and tweaking your suspension? It'll cost a lot less, you'll learn something in the process, and you get to keep the bike you otherwise like.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    If you only have that one nitpick of your Following, why not spend the time learning about and tweaking your suspension? It'll cost a lot less, you'll learn something in the process, and you get to keep the bike you otherwise like.
    Whoa now, that's way too practical! I have actually thought of sending the original Monarch in for a custom Avy tune, but for some reason haven't done it yet. I've tinkered with the fork and shock settings some, but not extensively. Maybe this is what I need.

  4. #4
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    I agree with the idea of dialing in suspension. You might have too much rebound damping on the fork and it's packing up.

    Also, based on your weight, you can fine tune it with spacers - or lack thereof.

  5. #5
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    Your shock sucks, its not the frame. You're not looking for a unicorn, you're just asking for a good shock.

    Also, a good tune will climb and descend better. The two arent mutually exclusive.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    Your shock sucks, its not the frame. You're not looking for a unicorn, you're just asking for a good shock.

    Also, a good tune will climb and descend better. The two arent mutually exclusive.
    Maybe the shock does suck, but I should have added that I replaced the Monarch with the Fox DPS Evol quite a while ago. That helped a little. I see that Avalanche now offers a custom tune for the Fox shock as well as the Monarch. I guess the next question is do I have them both custom tuned, or just one? And if one, do I go with the Fox or the Monarch?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by singletrack990 View Post
    Maybe the shock does suck, but I should have added that I replaced the Monarch with the Fox DPS Evol quite a while ago. That helped a little. I see that Avalanche now offers a custom tune for the Fox shock as well as the Monarch. I guess the next question is do I have them both custom tuned, or just one? And if one, do I go with the Fox or the Monarch?
    How much do you weigh, and what are your current pressures and settings compression and rebound? Is this a problem running them wide open? Is it the fork, shock or both that you feel are not performing? It sounds as though everything works well, until you get into high frequency bumps that last more than a few seconds - is that correct? If so, it sounds like rebound damping is set with too much damping and the fork/shock isn't reaching full extension between bumps. I'd work on tuning the shock/fork before I'd get a custom tune. It's hard to give you advise "in the blind" if we don't have some basic facts.

  8. #8
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    Send Craig at Avalanche a message in regard to the shocks you have. In my experience, he'll offer a solid opinion about which shock will serve you better with one of his tunes. It's been a couple years since I got a tune, but at that time, Craig preferred RS to Fox for best results, but that certainly could have changed.
    Just like a raindrop, I was born to fall.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSU Alum View Post
    How much do you weigh, and what are your current pressures and settings compression and rebound? Is this a problem running them wide open? Is it the fork, shock or both that you feel are not performing? It sounds as though everything works well, until you get into high frequency bumps that last more than a few seconds - is that correct? If so, it sounds like rebound damping is set with too much damping and the fork/shock isn't reaching full extension between bumps. I'd work on tuning the shock/fork before I'd get a custom tune. It's hard to give you advise "in the blind" if we don't have some basic facts.
    I weigh 135-140 "fully kitted" depending on whether I wear a hydro pack or not. My fork is a Fox 34 Float (140mm), set at 57-58 psi, 2-3 clicks in from open, although I checked things at lunch and it appears one of my kids may have messed with the rebound setting (it was at 6 or 7 clicks in from open). On the rear, I run approx. 160 psi and 2-3 clicks in from open. And you are right, it's mainly been a problem once I get into high frequency bumps lasting more than a few seconds and I mainly notice the "hanging up" on the fork, not the shock. According to the o-ring, I do get full travel at least once or twice a ride. I'll have to get out for another ride now that I've reset the rebound. that may have been the problem.

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